Sunday, September 24, 2006

Snubbing Fate



I had a call this morning from my friend who lives in Mississippi. I've known this girl since we were in third grade and I love her dearly. I was delighted to hear from her, albeit I felt a bit guilty for not having called her in so long. Sometimes I'm guilty of sticking my head in the sand; i.e., avoiding possible bad news.

As we talked and caught up on each other's lives over the past few months, I could hear her puffing away. On a cigarette. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against smoking. I smoke. But -- and here's the big but. She's been in treatment for lung cancer for the past year -- successfully. Right now, she's cancer-free. Which is why I could not believe she's still smoking! Granted, it's hard to quit. No question there. It's damned hard. Lung cancer puts a whole different perspective on it, though. If it were me, and if I were handed an absolute death sentence in the form of a terminal diagnosis, I'd see no reason to quit. I mean, if you're going to die anyway... But if I beat it and found myself cancer-free, there's just no way I'd continue to smoke. I'd see it as a second chance at life, a gift to receive gratefully and not take lightly.

True, I tempt fate all the time. I take a lot of unnecessary risks -- just because I can, I guess. And sometimes I tend to completely snub fate by taking the insouciant (and insolent) attitude of "nothing bad's going to happen to me unless I let it." I think that continuing to smoke after beating lung cancer may be tempting fate just a little too far, though. I wish I could make my friend see that she's not just tempting fate but snubbing it. Big-time. I can lightly chide her, but I can't preach at her. Ultimately, it's her decision. She knows the risks. Gotta tell you, though -- this scares the hell out of me. I do not want to lose her over a habit she can't break free of. Not now, not after everything she's been through. Maybe I should preach at her. Should I?

Deputy Roxan found these Words Gone Bad for us to publicly pillory today.

Coller - Hollering during a telephone conversation.

Corperate fetish atire - God help us. We think this has something to do with costumes worn for necrophiliac activities when tired.

Taylored - An editor who edits authors named Taylor.

Fatener - To be the cause of fate.

Levrage - Rage induced by wearing a particular brand of jeans.

Huseral - This is one of those what-the-fuck words. We have no idea how to define it.

Craped - An editor who edits crap.

Floped - An editor who edits manuscripts that flop (which were handed off to him by the Crap Editor).

9 comments:

RexZeitgiest said...

Serena, I quit smoking completely when I had to go to Siciliy and clean my father apartment......He died of a heart attack, but was riddled with cancer....

He had been a 4 pack a day smoker for 40 years......Well he had been sick and didn't clean up the place very much, there was at elast an inch of ash on the floor from the cigarettes and he had been putting them into empty two liter coke bottle.....There were at least 50 completly filled with cig butts....


I have never smoked a cigarette since.

Serena Joy said...

I can see where that would break you of the habit. Sorry about your father.

Anonymous said...

Hi Serena!
I'm alive again =D

I would not preach to her, I would ask her questions that will make her question herself if anything. Things like "why are you smoking when you had lung cancer exactly?" then don't push it. Let it fester in her head like the Addams Uncle.

Serena Joy said...

He lives! And thank God for that. All your lemmings were getting worried about you.

Your advice makes sense, Kan. I could do that without getting all preachy about it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the thought Serena....You know no one know when it's going to be their time...When the Hospitial in Landstuhl Germany called us and told us about our father they told us not to hurry, that he would not make it through the night......It took us three days to get the trip together and we landed in Frankfurt....

I will never forget looking up at the GIANT (30ft x 30ft) wide screen tv at the Frankfurt airport and learning that Princess Di had been killed in a car accident.....My dad outlived Princess Di....You just never know when it will be your time...

Anonymous said...

I wish your friend the very best, no matter what she chooses to do with the rest of her life.

Steve G said...

We're born to die and the place and time is unknown to a majority of us. My only wish is that each of us can find some joy in life. I hope your friend is filled with joy no matter what her decision is.

Dorothy said...

Gosh, I've been smoking for about fifteen years now. No signs of it killing me yet, except for this cough...ack. It is so hard to quit. I've tried, and it doesn't last. Thanks for commenting on my spaghetti story on my blog...I'd like to add you to my blogroll, especially since you're a Virginian! ;o)

Serena Joy said...

I'd be honored for you to add me to your blogroll, Dorothy, and I'm adding you to mine as well.

I've been smoking even longer than you have and I'm still alive. As far as I can tell. Most days. I do think that if it ever gives me some dread disease, though, and I beat it, I'll be dodging lightning bolts forever after if I don't quit.:)